Sunday, November 14, 2010

time to SCATTER STONES and a time to GATHER them

Ecc 3: There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven

There is a time to scatter stones and there is a time to gather them.

When something really profound happened in the Old Testament, during the children-of -Israel-wandering times, the Israelites memorialized events by gathering stones. They called them "stones of remembrance," a reminder of the greatness of the great event. The point of these stones was to commemorate what God had done - rescued them from impending destruction, mounting stupidity, wrong turns, and other general lapses in judgment. I assume this practice was necessary because they, like me, were quick to forget what was really important.

In one mind blowing example, God altered the flow of the Jordan River so His people could cross safely. Joshua ordered twelve men to each gather one stone from the riverbed and place all of them together to serve as a sign, a memorial, that God had intervened against all odds.
I have a hunch that the practice of gathering and stacking stones was as much about the children of Israel as it was about God. These stones were reminders to wake up and see what is possible in the world, to notice the miracles, to even participate in a miraculous event now and them - to stop worrying and making excuses and apologizing and "should of" -ing and instead simply believe. Step into the current and see what happens. Get your feet wet instead of paralytically wondering how cold the water might feel or how strong the pull might be or how on earth you're going to explain the miraculous occasion you were apart of.

The point, I believe is that in the act of scattering my stones, in stripping all the way down to my true self and listening and looking for God, I am able to see the few, tiny stones - some slivered chips and pebbles and rocks - gathered and stacked so that I will never forget.

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